Drive for Diversity

NASCAR: Drive For Diversity class of ’15 announced; update on Daytona Rising

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As part of the lead-in for Brian France’s State of the Sport address today in Charlotte, NASCAR revealed a six-driver Class of 2015 for its Drive for Diversity program.

Devon Amos, Jay Beasley, Collin Cabre, Natalie Decker, Kenzie Ruston, and Dylan Smith will compete under the RevRacing banner in two NASCAR series.

Amos (Rio Rancho, N.M.; @DevonAmos) and Cabre (Thonotosossa, Fla.; @CollinCabre12) will both be making a jump this year to the K&N East, where they’ll join series veterans Beasley (Las Vegas; @JBEASLEYRACING) and Ruston (El Reno, Okla.; @KenzieRuston).

As for RevRacing’s All-American Series drivers, Decker (Eagle River, Wis.; @ndecker04) comes from the ARCA SCAG Midwest Truck Tour and has also won feature events in late models. Smith (Randolph, Vt.; @DylanSmith34), an employee of reigning Sprint Cup champions Stewart-Haas Racing, comes to RevRacing after running his own late model last year.

“Taking steps to find and develop young female and multicultural athletes who could represent the future of NASCAR is at the core of our organization’s mission,” NASCAR senior VP of racing operations Jim Cassidy said in a corresponding release. “We were impressed by the talent displayed at the Combine [in October of 2014], and are eager to help this group develop their strengths on and off the track.”

The Drive for Diversity program has had several of its graduates enter the national levels of the sport in recent times, including reigning Sprint Cup rookie of the year Kyle Larson (Chip Ganassi Racing) and incoming XFINITY Series drivers Darrell “Bubba” Wallace, Jr. (Roush Fenway Racing) and Daniel Suarez (Joe Gibbs Racing).

Daytona International Speedway president Joie Chitwood also gave an update on his track’s ongoing Daytona Rising renovation project. As part of that update, Chitwood mentioned that 40,000 of the track’s new grandstand seats will be on hand for next month’s Budweiser Speedweeks activity.

The $400 million project, which Chitwood said would transform the World Center of Racing to a “motorsports stadium,” is expected to be fully complete in 2016.

“We will give our fans something that they have never had before when they attend our events in February,” Chitwood said. “We’re so excited about this opportunity to kick off the NASCAR season with the biggest event, but also this re-transformation of all that is special about Daytona.”